Insecurity In Second Marriage

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2014
Insecurity In Second Marriage
Wed, 01-15-2014 - 5:21pm

I'm currently engaged to a wonderful man but I'm beginning to have some thoughts and feelings that I'm concerned about.  He's 48 and I'm 40.  It will be his third marriage and my second.  He has two children who he adores and I have three.  He has made it very clear that he has no desire to have more children.  I originally agreed and I'm not saying that I definately want more but I'd like the option of having a child with him.  Have a child with a man is a very bonding experience.  My ex was and is a horrible abusive man.  My children haven't spend time with him besides court ordered counseling in three years.  I just thought one day I'd have a child that had a wonderful dad and this man is a wonderful dad.  I'm also concerned that we won't have the bonding of a couple like one does when you have a child.  I guess the feeling of "why would he stay with me" had entered my mind A LOT lately.  He says he loves me and that is why but let's be honest sometimes love isn't enough.  He also has told me (and now regrets saying it) that his first wife was the best sex of his life and his second wife didn't enjoy sex and it was more like wrestling.  He and I have fooled around but have not slept together due to religious reasons.  I'm concerned that I can't measure up to great sex and giving him children.  I'm wondering what's the point and maybe I should just walk away before I end up homeless in a strange town.  BTW I'll be selling my home and moving 1000 miles away to marry him.  We'll be living in the house he shared with the baby momma for ten years.  Am I crazy or is it normal to feel this way???  He thinks I'm over thinking things but I've been crying on and off for almost a week over this.  Please help!

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 01-15-2014 - 8:37pm

You don't need children to "bond" with your husband.  There are thousands of childless couples who have strong, happy marriages to attest to that.  Your problem is that you don't trust this man.  You don't want to sell your house.  You don't want to move away from friends and family.  And those are NOT feelings that a happy bride has.  Do yourself and this man a favor.  Don't get married.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Wed, 01-15-2014 - 10:21pm

If he doesn't want more children then you "not giving him children" won't be a problem for him. And a bad marriage doesn't get better just because the parents stay together for the children. The part about you wanting the option of having another child, and him being adamant that he doesn't want another is more of a red flag imo. I can see his point, I wouldn't want to be worrying about paying college tuition when I was 70. But if you feel like you might want another child then maybe you should be with somebody who is at least open to the possibility.

There would be a lot of big changes on your part going into something still somewhat unknown. How much time have you two spent together, day in day out, if you live 1000 miles apart? How do the kids get along? Do your kids know him well and really like him and want to make this move? If you are not comfortable living where the previous wife/gf lived, is there anyplace else that you two could settle?

About the no sex, I have a friend that was divorced and didn't have sex with her fiance for religious reasons. After they were married she found out that they were sexually incompatible and ended up divorcing--that wasn't the only problem but it became a big one. I'm not suggesting you go against your religion but maybe try to find some wiggle room, or some way to be sure that sex won't be a problem---especially if you're already feeling like you need to measure up to some other woman's performance. Its different when both parties are young and sexually inexperienced, they can learn together, which is not the case for you and your fiance.

I think your worries now are your intuition telling you something. You should listen to it and not marry until you feel sure that its the right thing for you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2014
Wed, 01-15-2014 - 10:31pm
To be honest I don't think I want another child I would just like him to be open to the idea is all. I guess in the back of my mind I think he had two children with his ex who he knew from the beginning was a mistake so his opposition to even considering it makes me feel like he doesn't want a long term commitment to me. As far as spending time together we see each other monthly as well as spend hours of time on Facetime. I wouldn't be considering such a move if it weren't for technology. The sex issue...fooling around is pretty much doing everything but crossing home plate. We have chemistry. I'm just worried that the ex will pop up in his mind while we are together. I've never been married to someone who was married before and I think I'm just thinking of everything that could go wrong. I really need to stop reading all of the statistics that say we only have a 30% chance. My kids love him and he loves them. I love his kids and his kids can't wait for us to get married. I'm pretty sure this is all just the freaking out about so much change coming along. I can't imagine not being with him. He treats me better than I could have ever hoped for.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2014
Wed, 01-15-2014 - 10:34pm
I guess that in my previous marriage after having a stillborn child then going on to give birth to three children I see how children bond people. I just bonded with a man who beat the crap out of me the first time. I was hoping to "get it right" this time. I trust him...I guess maybe I don't trust that he'll figure out he's way too good for me. I can thank the ex for my insecurity too. I think I'm just thinking way too much.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2010
Thu, 01-16-2014 - 1:36am


Hi. As to the issue of satisfying him in bed, you can find out a lot by asking detailed questions--if you haven't done so already. What are his sexual fantasies? Does he like a woman to be shaven or unshaven? What types of lingerie does he like? Does he like to keep the light on? What positions does he like? How does he feel about anal sex? How kinky is he? How often would he want to have sex, etc.? You can this way sense if he will be too much for you, without actually having intercourse or living with him. There's an old joke---what makes a woman a good lover? The answer--just saying yes. So, if it sounds like you can accomodate his desires, don't worry.

As to the issue of another child, you two already have five between the two of you. I tend to side with him here. You two have a lot to handle as is. A lot of adjustment will need to occur without a crying baby in the house. 

If there are other issues, I'd talk with your fiance clearly and directly about them. You want to give him a fair chance to work things out with you. However, if you're not happy with his responses, I'd break up with him. A divorce after relocating yourself and your kids 1,000 miles would indeed be a royal mess.

This advice is from a 50 year old married man who is an observant Jew.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 01-16-2014 - 10:26am

IMHO, your thinking that not wanting children = lack of commitment is a pretty big stretch.  You're 40--have you considered that you might not be able to get pregnant or that the possibility of having a child with Down Syndrome or other disabilities goes way up after 40?  I mean a lot of women are able to have kids, but there are still risks.  And it's not having a kid that bonds people.  When I got married to my 2nd DH, I was 43 and he was 45--I had 2 kids already and he had 1.  there was no way either of us wanted more kids.  I have to add that we did end up getting divorced, but it had nothing to do with not having kids--he had psychological issues.  By your logic, no one over child bearing age would be able to have a happy marriage and you know objectively that's not true.

Now as far as sex, I personally wouldn't marry someone that I had't already had sex with, but since you are doing a lot of other stuff, at least you know that you have sexual chemistry.  I do agree with Trenner that asking about someone's expectations of their sex life is good to discuss because if one person is happy donig it once a week and the other one wants it every night, that's going to be stressful.  Also if one person is very limited in the things they want to do and the other one is more experimental, shall we say, that could also be a problem.  My 2nd DH had probably had a much more varied sex life than I had--I got married the 1st time at 27 and had very few partners--I never even asked how many women 2nd DH had been with cause I just didn't want to know.  It never entered my mind that he would be comparing me to someone else because I knew he was interested in me and wanted to be with me--and we had a great sex life.  Basically every person you'd ever meet at this point would have had sex with someone else before you, so if you start comparing yourself to their previous partners, you'd make yourself crazy.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 01-16-2014 - 1:50pm

First, welcome to the board and to iVillage!

Two things come to mind. First, you are way, way overthinking things and second, let go of the idea of children together being important to a marriage.  If you have any lurking notion, and accidently get pregnant, it could potentially be an unhappy situation.  Not saying your DH wouldn't adjust, but I would be very, very unhappy if I were to get pregnant and have felt that way since I was about 35 or so after have 3 already.  

If you were to be concerned over anything, it would be the move.  All of the other stuff is in your head.  (I get it, my DH said some kind of 'not so smart' things when we were first together, also.)  But you have to focus on what is in front of you.  You miss out on the today when you stew over the past or worry about the future.

I hear a bit of what I went through when I was younger.  My first DH was also abusive and it is hard to move beyond that and trust again.  My 2nd DH was not abusive, but a drug addict.  So again, I had another set of trust issues when I met my current (and 3rd) DH.  

With all of that said, I do understand where your fears are coming from.  Remember that your DF is NOT your xH.  Share your fears in a way that is not about right or wrong, just simply your experience.  I found that helpful with my now DH.  He still is who he is, but he was able to take some extra considerations.  Be both have a few sore spots that we try to be considerate of.  Especially when past abuse is involved.  

Good luck and please stick around and let us know how things go!

Serenity CL making a second marriage work

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2013
Mon, 01-20-2014 - 1:38am
I think, since you already have 3 kids, your focus must be on raising them well and give them the best upbringing possible and not on giving birth to a new one. It will be good for you and your husband not to carry any baggage of their past relationship into the new one. Your husband rightly regretted his comparison of sexual experiences with his former 2 wives. This puts an unnecessary pressure on you to 'perform'. Why not go ahead and indulge in intimate relationship before you get married, in order to allay your fears. There is nothing wrong in doing that because religions when they were formed, these restrictions on pre-marital sex were placed because at that time there were no contraceptives. This restriction was based on practical reasons and not due to any kind of morality. Take your steps cautiously, as you have three kids to raise.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Mon, 01-20-2014 - 9:29am

I don't think you're ready to marry until you work on your self esteem. Read some library books on building skills to feel good about yourself and/or attend counseling. A person with healthy self esteem won't be crying about a man potentially falling out of love with her because she will end up not measuring up in some way. A woman who is emotionally healthy will realize that it takes two people to keep a marriage strong. It takes two people to put a daily effort into making each other feel special. How do you know if HE will keep up his end of the bargain and make the marriage a priority? It takes knowing him a minimum of 2 years. It takes knowing his past behavior and present behavior to know if he's worth risking your heart on. Why did his 2 past marriages fail? What was his part in the failure of them? You need to start changing your mindset. You are the prize. A man has to treat you well to stay in your life. Don't be a sniveling, anxiety ridden ball of insecurity. That's the biggest turn off of all to anyone. People are attracted to confident people who don't put up with BS and expect to be treated right. 

Yes, children are a joy, but they are also a source of stress. When you get married, you need years of bonding with your new husband. When you have a child, most of the attention needs to be zeroed in on the baby. Many couples don't feel as close at this time because the mother is so focused on the child that she doesn't have as much energy for the husband. Some husband's feel left out and ignored. Sometimes the woman is too tired for sex or sex is hard to fit in. Why not look forward to a marriage where you can focus on building a rapport with his kids and enjoying the ones you have. Why not look forward to the day you have an empty nest so you two can enjoy your remaining years together? Adult life with grown kids is a second chapter of life where you can have solo adult time traveling and enjoying time without little kids in tow. If kids are so bonding, why has he divorced twice? Obviously, the kids didn't tie him to his exes. Stop worrying about him falling out of love with you. Nobody has a crystal ball to know if this will happen. You only have control over your own actions. Enter a relationship with a good prospect and communicate your needs to him. Make him a priority. Let him know how you like to be treated. Set boundaries. That's the only control you have, and if it doesn't work out, you will survive. Keep female friendships and hobbies or other interests separate from your husband. When you have a full life and don't make your husband the sole center of your universe, you will have a support system to deal with anything. Good luck.

Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
Thu, 02-27-2014 - 8:30am

You have brought up way too many red flags.  I would definitely get some pre-marital counseling, as it looks like you are jumping into a relationship filled with landmines.  First, moving away from your own hometown to move into a new home that is your fiancee's home is a landmine in an of itself.  If you and he really want it to work, you both need to move into neutral territory which would be a new home.  Second, it sounds like you are getting married for the wrong reasons.  Someone posted that you need to work on your self esteem, and I would agree.  Before you enter into a relationship, you need to be strong in who you are...without a man in your life.  His telling you about sex with his first wife means that sex is vital to him in a marriage.  If it is not important to you every single day, then this marriage won't work in the longrun.  Any "red flag" that you see now will become the forefront of all of the "issues" that arise in your marriage to him.  The fact that you are crying so much tells me that, deep down inside, you see all of the problems.  With your dream of having child with a great father, I think you are more focused on the "dream" than the reality of what is before you.

The divorce rate in second marriages is higher than in the is filled with more conflict.  It sounds like you have a LOT of conflict in your relationship to this man.,